Heather

Hi.

I'm Heather, a Registered Dietitian from Vancouver, Canada. Welcome to my blog. I'm so excited to share my favourite recipes and chat about nutrition with you! 

Homemade "Sun-dried" Tomatoes

Homemade "Sun-dried" Tomatoes

 

 

 
 

I'm hanging out at my parents place, and we're taking advantage of their late-summer garden harvest. They have more tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and plums than they know what to do with - if you ask me, a great 'problem' to have! To preserve some of their buckets of cherry tomatoes (which are also amazing freshly picked) we're making home-made "sun-dried" tomatoes. It's really simple and the flavour is amazing, plus you get to skip some of the preservatives that are often added to the store-bought ones. 

Since we don't get real heat here on the west coast, there isn't any sun involved in the "sun-drying" at all - it's all oven! If you have a dehydrator I bet that would work really well too. I haven't tried these with full-sized tomatoes but I bet you could do it with them as well, they'd just take longer to dry. 

Once they're dried, keep them in an air-tight container on the counter and use them as you would use sun-dried tomatoes, or to add a pop of flavour to any dish. I don't know how to store them longer-term, because they're just so delicious they keep disappearing! My thought is you might want to pop them in the freezer. If anyone out there has storage tips for home-made "sun-dried" tomatoes let me know.

Tools:

  • Baking sheet (stoneware, or use parchment if you have a metal baking sheet)
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Time! (If you don't have dehydrator you'll have to stick around for several hours while they dry in the oven) 

Ingredients: 

Sundried tomatoes steps
  • cherry tomatoes (as many as you like!) I'd use 1-2 pints at least to make it worthwhile. 
  • salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225F. If you have a convection oven, use the convection setting. 
  2. Wash your tomatoes and slice them in half. 
  3. Place the sliced tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. I use stoneware and I don't need to oil the pan at all, but if you don't have a stoneware pan I'd use parchment paper on a metal baking sheet. 
  4. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a light dusting of salt and pop them into the oven. 
  5.  Let them dehydrate for 3-4 hours - the time will depend on your oven, the size of your tomatoes & the pan you use, so the timing isn't an exact science. It took us about 3 hours in a convection oven on a stone pan. 

Store them in an airtight container at room temp. I bet they won't last long! 

Ideas for using them up:

  1. Sun-dried tomato bruschetta (sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh garlic, olive oil, drizzle of balsamic vinegar)
  2. Simple italian pasta (pasta, garlic, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh parsley or basil, parmesan)
  3. Flavoured quinoa or grains (add sun-dried tomato and herbs to your grains as you're cooking them to add flavour)
  4. Put them out on a charcuterie plate as appies
  5. Salmon topping (mix with basil and balsamic vinegar and spread on top of the fish before baking it)
  6. Anywhere else you'd use sun-dried tomatoes!

Nutrition: 

Info per 10 pieces (5 whole tomatoes). Salt is approximate, depending on how much you add!

Homemade sun-dried tomatoes nutrition

Highlights and Swaps:

  • I'm comparing these home-made guys to the nutrition facts and ingredients of a jar of store bought sundried tomatoes. The store-bought kind has added oil, which drives up the calorie count. 
  • The store-bought kind also has added sulphites, which is pretty common for most dried fruits and similar foods. Sulphites are a preservative, but some people are sensitive or allergic to them. Even if you're not one of those people if you can get away without added preservatives why not do it!

Flavour swaps: 

  • Try using any flavoured salt instead of plain sea salt (garlic salt would probably be delicious!)
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